Calls grow to extend support for the self-employed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to extend the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), which ends this weekend.

The scheme pays lump sums worth 80% of total profits, up to £2,500 a month, over a three-month period starting from March 2020.

More than two million of the UK's five million self-employed population had applied for the grants in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Payments are capped at £7,500 per worker, while the Treasury has stumped up more than £6.8 billion to successful applicants so far.

A similar scheme for furloughed employees has been extended until the end of October.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) wrote to the Chancellor, calling on him to extend the support scheme.

It warns that many firms are "fearing a financial cliff-edge" with the scheme due to close on Sunday 31 May 2020.

"We recognise the scheme cannot run indefinitely," said the IPSE in conjunction with three other bodies representing the self-employed.

"Given the employee job retention scheme will now run until 31 October 2020, a similar principle should be adopted for the SEISS - it should also be extended."

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